North Carolina. Dept. of Public Instruction.

Biennial report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, for the scholastic years ... [serial] (Volume 1900/01-1901/02) online

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years, until to-day scarcely a single large town in the State
is without a good system of public graded schools, open to all
children of both races for eight or ten months of the year.
The smaller towns and some of the more populous rural com-
munities are rapidly following the example of these larger
f owns.



LVIII BlENXIAL RePOET OF THE

THE RURAL SCHOOLS.

Rural schools the Eighty-two per cent of the population of

hope of the rural North Carolina is rural and agricultural. The
population. lie

great masses' of our people, therefore, are de-
pendent upon the rural schools for education. These rural
schools, then, are the strategic point of the educational system
of the State. The very preservation of the rural population
depends upon the preservation and the improvement of these
schools. The hest people of all classes are going to reside
where they can get the hest educational opportunities for
their children. To keep such people on the farms and check
the disastrous annual drain upon the best blood of the coun-
try by the towns and cities, these rural schools must be made-
adequate to the educational needs' of the people, and equal in
merit to the best public schools of the towns and cities, and the
character of the instruction given in them must be such as to
educate for farm life rather than educate away from farm
life. With such schools, the country is the ideal place for
the education of man. That old myth of Antaeus was not all
a myth. There is a great truth embodied in it. There is a
physical, intellectual and spiritual strength that comes from
close touch and silent communion with Mother Nature,
fresh from the hand of God, such as can be derived from no
other earthly source. There is an education in daily com-
panionship with rocks and trees and streams and hills and
vales and flowers and birds, and sheep and fowl and cattle,
that can not be obtained in town or city. "God made the coun-
try, man made the town." The history of civilization plainly
declares that the greatest calamity that can befall any land
is the deterioration or the destruction of its bold peasantry.
Without adequate school facilities in these rural districts, it
is but a question of time when there shall be left in them
only the poorest peasant population, too ignorant to know
the value and the blessing of an education, and too indif-
ferent to care to secure it for their offspring. This must not



Superintendent of Public Instruction. LIX

happen in North Carolina. It should be the constant and
earnest effort of every patriotic son of the State to secure for
these country children schools as good as any in the land.

OTHER STATE SCHOOLS.

Other state It has' been my purpose to embody in this re-

schools. p 0rt i n f orma tion about every part of the public

school system of the State. Yon will find, therefore, else-
where in this report brief reports from the presidents, prin-
cipals or superintendents of all educational institutions re-
ceiving aid from the State. I ask your careful consideration
of these reports.

SIGNS OF HOPE AND EVIDENCES OF PROGRESS.

. ,. i In the discharge of my duties, I have had oc-

Eduational inter- ° .

est and progress easion to travel and speak in nearly every Sec-
tion of the State during the past ten months.
It has inspired me with a new hope and filled me with a new
faith to feel the quickened beat of the great heart of our peo-
ple, and to observe the awakening interest everywhere in ed-
ucation. Our people are slow to move, but they take no back-
ward steps. There dwells in this sturdy North Carolina folk
a quiet force, hard to arouse, but well nigh irresistible when
once aroused. There dwells in them the conservatism, the
dogged determination, too, of the English blood that
flows in its purity through their veins. I am persuaded that
they are beginning to be aroused and to move slowly in the
right direction.

Evidences of There are many evidences of this increasing

tnese - educational interest and progress. Among

these evidences may be mentioned :

1. The steady increase in taxes and appropriations for
public schools, to which reference has already been made.
Since 1874, the public school fund has been nearly quadrupled



lx Biennial. Report of the

by increased taxation and the increase in taxable property of
the State. In 1895, the public school fund was $834,711.
In 1902, it was $1,269,714, exclusive of local tax funds, or,
in round numbers, $435,000 more. During the past four
years, $837,283 more was expended on public schools', exclu-
sive of local tax, than during the preceding four years.

2. The increase in the amount raised for schools by local
taxation, and in the number of local tax districts. One hun-
dred and sixty-one thousand three hundred and sixty-three
dollars was raised by local taxation last year for public
schools in the State. Thirty-eight cities, towns and villages
have schools supported in part by local taxation. Eeports for
year ending June 30, 1902, showed 38 towns and cities' and
8 rural districts having local taxation. Reports from 57
counties since July 1, 1902, show that since that date 14
rural districts' have adopted local taxation by, vote, and elec-
tions are now pending in 24 more districts. The principle is
growing.

3. Growth in sentiment and demand for consolidation. Re-
ports from 57 counties show 318 districts consolidated since
July 1, 1901, and a total decrease of 179 districts.

4. Increase in the number of school houses built and im-
provement in the character of these houses. During the year
ending June 30, 1902, 332 new school houses were erected,
more than three times the number built the preceding year, —
more than one new house a day, omitting Sundays. Most of
these houses were of far better character than those formerly
built.

5. Increase in amount raised by private subscription for
public schools. Reports from 57 counties show that during
the past year, in those counties, $17,496 was raised for this
purpose by private subscription.

6. Increase in the attendance of the colleges and high
schools of the State, and, better still, enlargement of the
work of these institutions and increase in the endowments of
many of them.



Superintendent of Public Instruction. lxi

7. Increase in the attendance of the public schools.

8. A reduction of white illiteracy during the decade ending
in 1900 from 23.1 to 19.5 per cent. A reduction in colored
illiteracy from 60.1 to 47.6 per cent.

9. Increased attendance at educational gatherings, and in-
creased demand for them. Not many years ago the surest
way to insure a small crowd was to announce an educational
gathering and discussion. Now, I verily believe that these
gatherings are more largely attended than any other public
gatherings, and that thes'e educational discussions are listened
to with more earnest interest than discussions of any other
sort, except religious. Those of us who undertook the job
this summer know how difficult it was' to supply the demand
for speakers.

10. Strong declarations in the platforms of both political
parties in favor of education and public schools. Every ob-
servant friend of education must have noticed with pleasure
the emphasis' and prominence given to education in the polit-
ical discussions of the last two campaigns.

11. The adoption of the Constitutional Amendment by an
overwhelming majority, making intelligence an absolute
qualification for suffrage after 1908, and recognizing it as
one essential of citizenship.

it is daybreak The record of the old century is made up —

everywhere. fa e \ yoo ^ j s c l 0S ed. A new century is opening

its splendid portals at our feet. The spirit of this century is
universal education. Equality of opportunity for every
child born into the world is the inspiring s'ong whose divine
music fills the earth to-day. Thank God, this dear old State
of ours has caught at last the spirit of this new century, and
is beginning to thrill with the music of this new song.

"Out of the shadows of night
The world rolls into light.
It is daybreak everywhere."



LXI Biennial Report of the

Here in our fair land, it is' daybreak, too. The night has
been long and bitter, the light shall be all the sweeter. It
shall gild with glory the mountains' of the West, it shall flood
with glory the plains of the East. It shall enter the humblest
heart and transform it into a temple of truth ; it shall enter
the lowlies hut and transform it into a prince's' palace, for
out of it, too, henceforth shall come kings and queens of men.

RECOMMENDATIONS.

I desire, in conclusion, to summarize the recommendations
heretofore made, and to add thereto others for your considera-
tion.

1. To insure the erection of better school houses, require
all new houses to be constructed in accordance with plans
adopted by the County Board of Education, and approved by
the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

2. Authorize County Boards of Education to set aside for
building, improving and equipping school houses as much as
twenty-five per cent of the total school fund annually before
apportioning the same.

3. Amend section 31 of the School Law so as to allow the
condemnation of more than one acre of land for school sites',
and require all sites for new houses to be approved by the
County Superintendent and County Board of Education.

4. Authorize the State Board of Education to use, under
such rules and regulations as they may adopt, the funds now
in their hands from the sale of State lands', etc., to aid in
building and improving school houses in districts and coun-
ties that are least able to build and improve houses for them-
selves.

5. Amend section 26 of the School Law so as to allow
an appropriation of not more than two hundred dollars by
one county for a Teachers' Institute or summer school for
foachers, to continue for four weeks or more.



Superintendent of Public Instruction. lxjii

6. Increase the facilities for the improvement of the rural
public school teachers.

7. Consolidate the seven colored normal schools into three
strong ones, and introduce into each of these manual, indus-
trial and agricultural training.

8. Continue the special appropriation of two hundred thou-
sand dollars for a four months school term in every school
district, or so much thereof as' may be necessary to be used
for this purpose.

9. Empower the County Board of Education of every
county to employ a competent man for all his time as County
Superintendent, at a salary of not less than $500.

10. Provide for the employment of at least five Deputy
State Superintendents to aid in the work of State supervis-
ion, at an annual salary of $1,250 and expens'es, to be ap-
pointed by the Governor or elected by the State Board of
Education, upon recommendation of the Superintendent of
Public Instruction.

11. Require County Boards of Education to pay out of the
general school fund the railroad fare of County Superintend-
ents attending the annual meeting of the State Association of
County Superintendents.

12. Enact a law prohibiting the employment in cotton
mills or factories of any sort, of children under twelve years
of age, and of children under fourteen years of age who can
not read and write.

13. Continue the special appropriation of five thousand
dollars for the establishment of rural libraries, and make a
reasonable additional appropriation for the maintenance and
enlargement of those heretofore established.

14. Increase salary of the stenographer in the office of the
Superintendent of Public Instruction from $250 to $500 a
year. An examination of the letter books and files' of the
office shows that the correspondence of the office has doubled
during the past two years. The work now requires the en-



lxiv Biennial Report of the

tire time of the stenographer, and will continue to increase.
She is competent and faithful in the discharge of her duties.
She could not pay expenses on her present salary if she had
to pay board.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE NORTH CAROLINA TEACHERS*
ASSEMBLY.

I beg to submit also, with hearty approval, the following
recommendations of the Committee on Legislation of the
North Carolina Teachers' Assembly, the most representative
body of teachers in the State :

1. Let there be ten State Supervisors of Education to work under
the direction of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and
the State Board o Education, to be appointed by the Governor upon
the recommendation of the State Superintendent, not more than
one-fith to go out of office every year.

2. Let there be only township committees.

3. Let all County Boards of Education be given the privilege of
employing a County Superintendent of Schools at a reasonable sal-
ary, to be fixed by them.

4. Let the members of the Board of Education be elected in such
manner as not to change the whole Board in any one year, by elect-
ing one member each year.

Acted upon and approved by the Assembly at Morehead, N. C,
in their annual session, June 10-16, 1902.

W. D. Carmichaet.,
Secretary and Treasurer.

RESOLUTIONS OF THE STATE ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY SUPER-
INTENDENTS.

The following resolutions, unanimously adopted No-
vember 14, 1902, by the State Association of County Super-
intendents, the largest and most representative body of Coun-
ty Superintendents that ever assembled in the State, express
the views of these men upon many of the questions discussed
in this report, and I commend them to your Excellency as
worthy of most careful consideration :



Superintendent of Public Instruction. i.w

Resolved, first. That we recognize the following as among the
greatest needs of the public schools of North Carolina, and favor
the enactment of such legislation as may be necessary to supply
them:

1. Reasonable consolidation of small districts into larger ones.

2. The erection of adequate and comfortable school houses, and
the enlargement and improvement of school grounds.

3. Supplementing by local taxation the school fund raised by
State and county taxation as the only practical means of supplying
the money necesary for making the schools in rural districts ade-
quate in houses, teachers and length of term for the education of
the children of these districts.

4. A reasonable provision for the improvement of public school
teachers at small expense by lengthening the term of the County
Institute and making its work more efficient.

5. The necessity of an increase in the salaries of good teachers in
order to hold such in the profession and encourage others to come
into it.

6. An increase in the compensation of the County Superintendent
of every county in which such increase is necessary to justify him
in devoting all of his time, thought and energy to the educational
work of his county, just as County Clerks, Registers of Deeds and
employes of every other business of value and importance are re-
quired to do.

7. Strengthening and making more efficient the State Superin-
tendent in his efforts to meet the demands of the growing sentiment
in favor of public education in the public schools, by the appoint-
ment, by proper authority, of Deputy State Superintendents, so that
the State Superintendent, with the aid of his deputies, may be able
to reach and help every part of the State in this the most important
work for the betterment of conditions among all our people.

Second. That we favor an appropriation by the State for an in-
crease in the number of rural libraries, and for the maintenance
and extension of those already established.

Third. That we desire to record an expression of our appreciation
of the work inaugurated by the Women's Association for the better-
ment of public school houses in North Carolina, and to give assur-
ance of our hearty co-operation in this noble work, and of our
gratitude to the more than two thousand public spirited and patri-
otic women who have volunteered to make more attractive and com-
fortable the school homes of the children.

Fourth. That we recognize the value of the educational campaign
aarried on by the aid of the Southern Education Board, and desire
to express our appreciation of their aid and the earnest hope that
this campaign may be continued and extended.



lxvi Biennial, Report of the

Fifth. That we desire to express our thanks for the generosity of
the General Education Board in aiding us to have the most largely
attended conference of County Superintendents ever held in North
Carolina, and to assure this Board of our appreciation of the spirit
and motive prompting them in the work of co-operating with us
in the upbuilding of our public schools.

Sixth. That we should deplore any backward step in education,
and therefore favor most heartily the continuance of the present
special appropriation for the public schools out of the State Treasury.



SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION. LXVII



APPENDIX.



DECLARATION AGAINST ILLITERACY.



Address to the People of North Carolina, by Conference of Edu-
cators, Held in the Governor's Office, in Raleigh, February 13.
1902 — The Names of the Signers.

Profoundly convinced of the prophetic wisdom of the declaration
of tke Fathers, made at Halifax in 1776, that "Religion, morality,
and knowledge being necessary to good government, schools and the
means of education shall forever be encouraged"; and cognizant
of the full meaning of that recent constitutional enactment which
debars from the privilege of the suffrage, after 1908, all persons
who can not read and write; and relying on the patriotism and fore-
sight of North Carolinians to deal with a great question which
vitally concerns the material and social welfare of themselves and
their posterity, we. in an educational conference assembled in the
city of Raleigh, this February 13, 1902, are moved to make the fol-
lowing declaration of educational facts and principles:

1. To-day, more fully than at any other time in our past history, do
North Carolinians recognize the overshadowing necessity of univer-
sal education in the solution of those problems which a free govern-
ment must solve in perpetuating its existence.

2. No free government has ever found any adequate means of uni-
versal education except in free public schools, open to all, supported
by the taxes of all its citizens, where every child regardless of con-
dition in life or circumstance of fortune, may receive that oppor-
tunity for training into social service which the constitutions of this
and other great States and the age demand.

3. We realize that our State has reached the constitutional limit
of taxation for the rural schools, that she has made extra appro-
priations to lengthen the term of these schools to eighty days in the
year. We realize, too, that the four months' term now provided is
inadequate, for the reason that more than 20,000,000 children of
school age in the United States outside of North Carolina are now
provided an average of 145 days of school out of every 365; that
the teachers of these children are paid an average salary of $48 a
month, while the teachers of the children of North Carolina are paid
hardly $25 a month, thus securing for all the children of our sister



l.x vin Biennial Report of the

States more efficient training for the duties of life. A.nd we realize
that, according to the latest census report and the report of the
United States Commissioner of Education, for every man. woman
and child of its population, the country at large is spending $2.83 for
the education of its children, while North Carolina is spending
barely 67 cents; that the country at large is spending on an average
of $20.29 for every pupil enrolled in its public schools, while North
Carolina is spending only $3 or $4, the smallest amount expended
by any State in the Union. And still further do we realize that the
average amount spent for the education of every child of school age
in the United States is approximately $9.50, while North Carolina
is spending $1.78.

These facts should arouse our pride and our patriotism, and lead
us to inquire whether the future will not hold this generation respon-
sible for the perpetuation of conditions that have resulted in the
multiplicity of small school districts, inferior school houses, poorly
paid teachers, and necessarily poor teaching; that nave resulted in
twenty white illiterates out of every 100 white population over ten
years of age; in generally poor and poorly paid supervision of the
expenditure of our meagre school funds and of the teaching done in
our schools; and, finally, in that educational indifference which is
the chief cause of the small average daily attendance of about 50
pupils out of every 100 enrolled in our public schools.

We believe the future will hold us responsible for the perpetua-
tion of these unfavorable conditions, and, therefore, we conceive
it to be the patriotic, moral and religious duty of this generation of
North Carolinians to set about in earnest to find the means by
which all our children can receive that education which will give
them equal opportunities with the children of other sections of our
common country.

4. Viewing our educational problems and conditions in the light of
educational history and experience, we declare it to be our firm con-
viction that the next step forward for North Carolina, in education,
is to provide more money for her country public schools, making
possible the consolidation of small school districts, the professional
teacher, and skilled supervision of the expenditure of all school
funds and of the teaching done in the schools.

The history of the adoption of the principle of local self help by
our 35 graded school towns and cities must surely be an inspiration
and an example to every village and rural community in North
Carolina. Those towns and cities have adopted the only means at
hand for the adequate education of their children. In adopting
this principle, local taxation, they secured, first, adequate school
funds; second, competent supervision; third, skilled teachers. Lack-
ing any one of this educational trinity no community has ever yet



Superintendent of Public Instruction. lxix

succeeded in establishing the means of complete education for its
children.

Those 35 towns and cities within our borders have followed the
lead of other sections of the United States in adopting first the
means of education, local taxation. The fact that 69 per cent of
the total school fund of this Union is now raised by local taxes,
while North Carolina raises only 14 per cent of her funds by that
means, and lags behind all her sister States in every phase of public
education, has both its lesson and its warning.

5. Remembering that in the last year nearly thirty communities
in North Carolina, some of them distinctly rural, have adopted the
principle of local taxation for schools, we think this time most auspi-
cious to urge a general movement of all our educational forces in
that direction, and, therefore, we appeal to all patriotic North Caro-
linians, men and women, who love their State, and especially that
part of their State which is worth more than all its timber, lands,
mines, and manufacturing plants, to band themselves together under
the leadership of our "Educational Governor" and the State Super-
intendent of Public Instruction, aided by the Southern Education
Board, to carry forward the work of local taxation and better
schools, to the end that every child within our borders may have
the opportunity to fit himself for the duties of citizenship and so-
cial service.

And, finally, heartily believing in the Christlikeness of this work of
bringing universal education to all the children of North Carolina,
we confidently rely on the full co-operation of all the churches of
the State, whose work is so near the hearts of all the people, and,
therefore appeal to the pulpit to inculcate the supreme duty of uni-
versal education.

Charles B. Aycock, Governor of North Carolina.

T. F. Toon, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

John Duckett.

Charles D. Mclver, President State Normal and Industrial College.

F. P. Venable, President University of North Carolina.

George T. Winston, President College of Agr. and Mechanic Arts.

Charles E. Taylor, President Wake Forest College.

Edwin Mims, Trinity College.

Henry Louis Smith, President Davidson College.

Chas. H. Mebane, President Catawba College.

J. O. Atkinson, Elon College.

T. D. Bratton, President St. Mary's College.

R. T. Vann, President Baptist Female University.

L. L. Hobbs, President Guilford College.



Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Dept. of Public InstructionBiennial report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, for the scholastic years ... [serial] (Volume 1900/01-1901/02) → online text (page 6 of 46)